Abu Dhabi GP2: Gasly defeats Vandoorne to claim third pole
Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly beat Stoffel Vandoorne to secure his third pole position in the last four rounds of the GP2 season in Abu Dhabi.
Gasly, who was the standout in GP2 testing in Abu Dhabi leading up to the 2015 season, smashed the existing Yas Marina track record on his way to the DAMS squad's fourth consecutive pole.
Qualifying was expected to be a toss-up between Gasly and series champion Vandoorne, since the duo had dominated practice, and both duly delivered early on.
Gasly immediately went below the existing track record at the start of the session, while Vandoorne scuppered his first flying lap with a lock-up, only to move to second place with a proper attempt.
While the rest of the field sat at half a second back, Gasly's teammate Alex Lynn rose to the occasion during the final minutes, closing in on the Frenchman's time.
But Gasly, despite nearly having an off in the final sector, punched in a benchmark 1m47.769s - and Vandoorne, subsequently coming up a tenth short, settled for a front row start, pulling into the pits well before the chequered flag.
A last-ditch effort from Mitch Evans allowed him to nab third place from Lynn, albeit he was still 0.245s off Gasly.
Raffaele Marciello took fifth for Trident, ahead of Rio Haryanto and Racing Engineering pair Alexander Rossi and Jordan King.
While Nobuharu Matsushita and Artem Markelov made up the top 10, Sergey Sirotkin - who sits as the championship's top rookie - finished 12th behind Andre Negrao.
|2||Stoffel Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||1'47.866||0.097|
|3||Mitch Evans||RUSSIAN TIME||1'48.014||0.245|
|6||Rio Haryanto||Campos Racing||1'48.429||0.660|
|7||Alexander Rossi||Racing Engineering||1'48.598||0.829|
|8||Jordan King||Racing Engineering||1'48.632||0.863|
|9||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||1'48.699||0.930|
|10||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||1'48.743||0.974|
|11||Andre Negrao||Arden International||1'48.822||1.053|
|13||Norman Nato||Arden International||1'49.105||1.336|
|14||Arthur Pic||Campos Racing||1'49.110||1.341|
|15||Sergio Canamasas||Daiko Team Lazarus||1'49.146||1.377|
|17||Nicholas Latifi||MP Motorsport||1'49.350||1.581|
|18||Oliver Rowland||Status Grand Prix||1'49.374||1.605|
|19||Rene Binder||MP Motorsport||1'49.661||1.892|
|20||Daniel de Jong||Trident||1'49.727||1.958|
|21||Nathanael Berthon||Daiko Team Lazarus||1'49.779||2.010|
|22||Marlon Stockinger||Status Grand Prix||1'49.839||2.070|
Abu Dhabi GP2: Gasly leads ART duo in practice
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